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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread

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Comments

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,226
    you just need to stop "assuming" I'm "implying" anything. So far, your comebacks at me have been based on what you are reading into my posts. As if I am some sort of greater authority on the subject that must be countered. Shall I make a disclaimer at the bottom of all my posts? Eh. Don't answer. I'll ignore you and you can ignore me and we'll make life much more pleasant for the board.

    warning: views expressed in this post are solely the opinion of the creator and in no way reflect the opinions of edmunds, the public at large, or the gods above. don't try this at home.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the American car market has always had a preference for softer/quieter cars, one of the reasons that Toyota has continued to gooble up market share. 'Improving handling' and 'ride quality' are almost contradictory. You will inevitably sacrifice one to get the other. A lot of people really want wallowy soft Buicks, isolation chambers to remove themselves as far as possible from the chores of driving! And yup ever since they decided to put a V8 in a '64 Ford Falcon, the American has thought that 0-60 times somehow made a 'sports' car.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    To you and jeffyscott - ignoring each other sounds like a good way to proceed from here.
  • 'Improving handling' and 'ride quality' are almost contradictory. You will inevitably sacrifice one to get the other.

    I don't think this needs to be the case. I FEEL the 1992-1998 BMW E36 3 series cars had very good ride quality and they also had very good handling. They didn't have anything overly sophisticated (no magnetic suspension systems or hover crafts or anything), just a lot of time spent in tuning shock valving and spring rates.

    Yes this car was expensive, but man, that was 15 years ago. You would think some of the other companies could have figured it out. I remember in the original Miata (pre-whale) they spent some incredible amount of time tuning the suspension with simulation and road time. They even spec'd the tire compound.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    And yup ever since they decided to put a V8 in a '64 Ford Falcon, the American has thought that 0-60 times somehow made a 'sports' car.

    At a Chrysler test drive event last weekend, I drove a Magnum SRT, with something like 450 HP and 0-60 time of 5.5 sec. The course they had set up started with a long straight stretch where you could just floor it. Even with that much power and accelertion, the straight ahead acceleration just was not that exciting to me. The rest of the course with tight curves was a lot more fun to drive through.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I would agree that the German cars, in particular, seem to find that ride/handling sweet spot. Keep in mind also that no car with 60% or more weight over its front (driven) wheels will ever be a 'sports sedan', immediately disqualifying all the cars discussed here - and primarily leaving what amounts to a group of high priced German sedans.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It's always interesting to see how far afield CR is sometimes. For example, in the link to theautochannel provided, the article says as far as the Luxury segment it lists the TL and M45. There is a price difference of $20K. The TL belongs in the entry level lux category. In the lux category where the M45 is, the 5 series is obliterating the segment. So while the M35/45 may represent the best value to CR, sales figures don't lie.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    As I noted earlier, it's NOT CR (Consumer Reports) that made the Best Buy assignments that theautochannel reported. It's Consumers Digest. TWO DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS!!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I don't think this needs to be the case. I FEEL the 1992-1998 BMW E36 3 series cars had very good ride quality and they also had very good handling. They didn't have anything overly sophisticated (no magnetic suspension systems or hover crafts or anything), just a lot of time spent in tuning shock valving and spring rates.

    I think it is definitely the case. Some cars have a very good compromise (of ride and handling), but no car has the "perfect" suspension. These Midsize sedans are totally redesigned every 4-5 years, so time is limited on suspension. You have to have a car first, before you can tune a suspension to it. And just because the suspension worked well on that Beemer, doesn't mean it would work on any other car.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    the "feel every pebble" feel of cars like the Accord.

    Wow - do you really think the Accord feels like that? I drove one for years and never felt that way towards the suspension. I thought it was a precision machine and handled and felt great. Much better than any Sonata I drove.

    How long did you own your Accord?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    That's how the Accord EX felt to me when I did a head-to-head drive of one vs. a Sonata. You'll see similar comments from professional reviewers, e.g. C/D said "The ride is firm, much different in character than the [2006] Camry, or the noisy Fusion, or the less firmly teethed Sonata. You feel each bump, but only once."
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Most reviewers say the Accord has the best suspension in this segment. Not soft, and wishy-washy like Camry and Sonata. Not harsh, like Mazda6 and Altima. You can't have it both ways (smoothest ride, and great handling) but the Accord has the best compromise. The reviewers and myself agree.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    My wife owned a Camry at the same time I owned my Accord. Whenever I drove her car it felt way too soft. Maybe its Honda's racing heritage and my preferences, but an Accord doesn't feel too firm to me. The others feel too soft.

    Plus I'm a 'professional reviewer' also. And there's my opinion. That'll be $500.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Either way my comment still stands, it's a ludicrous statement to make.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    No, you can't have the smoothest ride and great handling. But you can have a ride that doesn't make you feel every little bump. One of the best compromises I've driven is, surprisingly, the Focus. I think the Fusion and Sonata offers a good compromise in this class.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I think the Fusion and Sonata offers a good compromise in this class.

    This doesn't make sense. These two car's suspensions are at totally opposite ends. Either you like a firm er ride (Fusion), or you like a softer ride (Sonata). The Accord would be the compromise between the two.
  • jimmy81jimmy81 Posts: 170
    Feel every little bump? Do you really think that describes the Accord? Talk about anti-Honda.

    I would counter that a Sonata or Fusion has 'no' feel. No sense of being connected to the road. And I'd be right. And I'm still laughing about the Focus example. Good one.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    And I'm still laughing about the Focus example. Good one.

    Like a Focus has a comparable ride to any midsize car. :confuse:
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I would counter that a Sonata or Fusion has 'no' feel.

    Fusion :confuse: are you sure you did not mean maybe Camry or some GM product there?
  • Most people wouldnt even consider the Focus in the same leauge as any of these cars....but to each there own I guess... :P
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    when c/d wrote that "you feel each bump...", I don't think they were saying you feel "every pebble" as you characterized it. the accord does have a firmer ride than the sonata, but it is nowhere near harsh. it has a very comfortable ride and if the suspension were any less firm, I would feel that it would be too "boat-ish". But I think the person who suggested that americans tend to like "boat-ish" handling cars is right.

    and to elmo who put the suspensions of the altima and the 6 in the same category... the altima has been faulted by many because when it hits larger sharp bumps it crashes as though there weren't enough suspension travel, whereas the 6 absorbs these bumps much better. you do feel it for sure and you do know it was a big one, but the sharpness of the impact is absorbed much better than the altima. and it's not like the altima had good reason for this...body lean in turns was very high, almost as much as the sonata. if you're going to have firm ride, at least make it corner well and respond quickly to steering input.

    many car mags seem to like the 6 because it does have an absorbant and forgiving suspension that is tuned to be on the firm side so that when the driver does get the chance to appreciate what a good handling vehicle can do they can without having to use the steering wheel as an anchor to hold them up. but then these reviewers of car mags tend to be people who not just love cars, they love to drive. and not just to drive to and from the grocery store in a mundane monotony, but they drive to feel the exhilaration of speed and g-forces combined with control and comfort.

    there are those who can't afford a true sports car and a more practical daily driver but who like to drive spiritedly when they can. it's nice that there are choices in the class of midsize family sedans that appeal to this kind of driver.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    and to elmo who put the suspensions of the altima and the 6 in the same category...

    Sorry about that, I should have said "firm" for the 6, and "harsh" for the Altima. Caught that huh? :D He should have gotten the point of the post though. I would probably like driving the 6. Not sure about the wife though (she doesn't exactly drive "spirited").
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I was just mentioning a car that I think has a nice balance of ride and handling. Someone recently mentioned cars like the TL and M45 in multiple posts--you didn't jump all over him, now did you?

    So I am a "Honda-basher" because I don't like a car where I feel every bump? I guess I was a Honda basher then when I bought those two Hondas I used to own. :confuse: Maybe the definition of a "Honda-basher" is "someone who doesn't think every Honda is perfect in every way, and who can actually appreciate other cars besides Hondas"?

    Comparing the Fusion and Sonata, the Fusion is a little more to the "handling" side of the meter and the Sonata a little more to the "smooth ride" side of the meter, but both are a compromise IMO compared to cars like the Accord (way over to the "handling" side at the expense of smooth ride) and the LaCrosse (way over to the "smooth ride" side of the meter at the expense of handling).
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Sorry, but the Accord ride is smoother than a Fusion (or even a Focus). ;)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    To me a soft ride does not equal smooth. For example my minivan has a soft ride, but it jostles and jiggles you a lot as in bounds around over even slightly un-smooth roads. The ride is very busy, while also being soft. OTOH, the firmer ride in in cars like my wife's Jetta or the Mazda6 and Fusion bumps are absorbed with one short quick movement...without being overly harsh, imo.

    To me the Mazda6 and Fusion, like the wife's Jetta, do have a smooth ride, but not a soft ride.

    Regarding the Accord, I don't know...you seem to be pretty unique in feeling its ride is excessively firm.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    just realized that I called you elmo...oops lol :P no hidden meaning there (at least not consciously :surprise: ). sorry elroy...unless you're red and fuzzy.
  • lweisslweiss Posts: 342
    I still think that the European cars take the prize for good handling, smoothness, and instrumentation- and my 1998 Volvo is an example of that. Too bad the new Volvo S-60 (comparable to a mid-size sedan) is so expensive ($30-$35K usually, all include a turbo) and even the Audi models are in that range. A VW Passat and the Jetta have "the right stuff" and decent pricing but those can be maintenance nightmares. So I am still sticking toward Mazda6, new Nissan Altima.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    A VW Passat and the Jetta have "the right stuff" and decent pricing but those can be maintenance nightmares.

    And, if you get the Jetta, you have to listen to that engine moan all the way up to its not-so-rousing 5,800 RPM redline. If you get a Jetta, PLEASE get the 2.0T, or skip the car altogether.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,226
    Too bad the new Volvo S-60 (comparable to a mid-size sedan) is so expensive ($30-$35K usually

    yeah, but don't forget that volvo often has heavy incentives on them, bringing them down into the $20s for nicely optioned models. It is still more expensive than the Japanese and Korean mid-sizers ... but not as much as most people think.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    Regarding the Accord, I don't know...you seem to be pretty unique in feeling its ride is excessively firm.

    The Accord's ride may be firm, but that's GOOD! Its like calling blue cheese dressing funky or a Merlot's afertaste tart. Isn't that what you want? I do.

    I doubt many folks test drive the Accord and say no to it because of the firmness of the suspension. I'd bet more say they'd buy it BECAUSE of the firm ride than the other way around.
This discussion has been closed.